How long will I make rookie mistakes?

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
If you're not making mistakes, then you're not making anything.

Every maker makes mistakes. We just call ourselves "knife makers" because it sounds better than "mistake makers". hahah
Even the masters make mistakes. Now, hopefully they're happening less often, or they're able to be fixed (or covered), but mistakes will never fully go away. If you're not making mistakes, then you're either lying to yourself, or you're not challenging yourself, which in and of itself should be considered a BIG mistake. ;)
 

Travis Fry

Well-Known Member
- cutting pins too short to avoid waste. the problem here is without that extra 1/4” of mosaic pin sticking out during glue up, there’s no good way to index the pattern. Having that extra pin length allows you to twist the pins at will to align them. It’s money well spent.
You can save a little of that length by cutting a slot in the top of the slightly over final length pin so that you can index it with a flathead screwdriver. Assuming you're talking about mosaics.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
You can save a little of that length by cutting a slot in the top of the slightly over final length pin so that you can index it with a flathead screwdriver. Assuming you're talking about mosaics.
That’s true. But in my experience a 12” mosaic yields 10 pieces that are about 1-1/4” and super easy to index several times as necessary during clamping. Trimming them slightly shorter yields 10 pins that are a PITA to get right and a leftover chunk that is useless to me. The slotting idea is a good solution if you need to get that extra pin.
 

Kevin R. Cashen

Super Moderator
How long will you make rookie mistakes? Until you make your last knife! People have this idea that master bladesmiths are masters because they don’t make mistakes, Ha! Nothing could be farther from the truth. Masters are masters because they have made that many more mistakes than others, and know, the hard way, how to either fix, hide, or avoid those mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning.

I have to make signs, in big bloody letters, and hang them around my shop to remind me not to make stupid mistakes that I should have learned my lesson about twenty years ago.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
Rookie mistakes stop soon. Intermediate mistakes start to kick in. After that, you graduate to Senior Journeyman and so on. You get new and exciting mistakes as you level up. They also get more time consuming and expensive to fix so you have that to look forward to.
 

TimGinMN

Well-Known Member
Rookie mistakes stop soon. Intermediate mistakes start to kick in. After that, you graduate to Senior Journeyman and so on. You get new and exciting mistakes as you level up. They also get more time consuming and expensive to fix so you have that to look forward to.
Eventually you get to complacent mistakes... and those are the ones where you get hurt... "Don't bleed on the carpet!" she said.
 

billyO

Well-Known Member
They also get more time consuming and expensive to fix so you have that to look forward to
Unless you follow my path, come from a blacksmithing background and decide to start making knives only after learning how to forge weld and becoming obsessed with pattern welding. I can't think of a blade I have made that wasn't damascus. So all of my mistakes have been time consuming. On the plus side, I don't have a very large pile of junk knives because I learned early that inside every chef's knife is a petty waiting to be born.
 
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